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. >> reporter: the defense of marriage act signed by president bill clinton is also facing numerous challenges. the law states that the federal government will only recognize traditional marriages, meaning no federal benefits even where same-sex marriage is legal. >> same-sex couples are denied hundreds of different rights and benefits that are provided to married different-sex couples under federal law. >> reporter: on the document as well, whether to curtail parts of the historic voting rights act of 1965. it mandates federal oversight for states with a history of voting discrimination when changing any rules for elections. challengers say the law is outdated and unnecessary. a big lineup of cases that could change the landscape of civil rights in america. francis coe, nbc news. >>> here is a look at other stories making news early today in america. in maine a group of strangers spring into action when an elderly woman drove her car into the portland harbor. the ban of good samaritans pulled the 84-year-old out of her car moments before it sank. the woman is in stable condition. some of the
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